Unlike most other projects, User Experience Designing doesn’t stop once your interface is launched. User feedback is an important insight for figuring out which elements are or aren’t working for your mobile app. Designers use various tools to collect data from user sessions to optimize their experience. Today we’ll be looking at one such effective tool to get these insights - Heatmaps.
What are Mobile App Heatmaps?
Heatmaps are the visual representation of data on how users interact with your mobile app. The data gives you insight on the elements of your interface that users clicked, scrolled, swiped, etc. These insights are represented in forms of different colors on your Heatmap where Red areas are the most active and the Blue ones the least active on your app.
Unlike Web Heatmaps that collect data on cursor movement, Mobile Heatmaps collect data on all gestures on the screen, which includes all types of Taps, swipes, zooms, etc.
Why should UX Designers use Heatmaps?
In order to optimize your User Experience, you need to be completely user focused when collecting feedback and app data. While surveys, reviews, and pop ups are one way to generate feedback, they also take up a lot of space on your app, could be distracting, and bring you feedback only from a handful of users who are willing to participate.
Heatmaps on the other hand, collect data from every user without disrupting their user experience. They present data to you in an easily comprehensible way which helps you figure out underperforming and well performing design elements with just a look.
Additionally, the passive data collection of heatmaps is able to pick up data that users (usually non-designers) are unable to consciously report in reviews and surveys.
Let’s take a further look at how you can use Heatmaps to improve your UX design -
Using Mobile App Heatmaps for UX Design
- Effortless Data Comprehension - The visual nature of heatmaps makes it very easy to comprehend the data that you have collected, which in turn makes it convenient to relay this information, or explain design changes to non-designers. For example, lots of zoom gestures around a particular piece of information immediately indicate that it might need a change in font or placement. These qualities make Heatmaps ideal for including in proposals and progress reports.
- Get More Clicks - Calls to action (CTA) are buttons or links that require user action. They’re usually the most important elements of a page, responsible for getting you clicks, sales and sign-ups. Heatmaps help you figure out which CTAs are performing well and the ones that aren’t. Once you have that information, you can try various design changes, including moving a CTA button to more active areas, or make it more noticeable to get the maximum number of clicks from your users.
- Know where to put your information - Since the amount of information that users view at first glance, without scrolling differs for different devices and operating systems, you’ll need heatmaps to give you a clear idea of what users are seeing, how far they’re scrolling and where they drop off. This way, you can make sure to include all relevant information above the drop off point and redesign elements to keep them engaged and interested beyond the drop off points of your page.
- Fix unresponsive clicks - A lot of times, a flashy headline or a directional arrow may appear as a link or button to interested users, who end up wasting time clicking on these unresponsive elements. These experiences can be distracting at best and annoying at worst for the users. Heatmaps help you fix this by giving you an insight on unresponsive elements that receive significant clicks, you can then move things around and make them useful instead of letting those clicks go to waste.
- Compare Platforms - While websites simply use HTML codes for all platforms, apps have to take in account the specificities of the device’s operating system (Android, iOS, etc). Not all design elements that work on one platform may get you the same result for other platforms. Apps usually need at least little tweaks for optimizing each platform and Heatmaps are a great way to compare which element works for what platforms and if the same one works on more than one.
- Keep them engaged - If users seem to be moving around your pages randomly, with little to no relevant clicks, then you might be failing at grabbing their attention or giving them proper direction for navigating around your app. These insights help you have clarity on focus areas for each page and an indication that you need to make them more noticeable and appealing. It also helps to keep in mind that linear visual flows are best at giving direction to users for a page.
Tools to get Started
Mobile app analytics tools are rarer than web analytics due to their complex nature. However, tools like UserExperior heatmaps are a great way to get started at mobile app analytics. UserExperior offers a drill touch heatmap that gives you data on all touches, and also more detailed data on first, last, and quit touches.
It’s also a great tool for looking into what elements of your app are unresponsive or frustrating for users with features like taps, rage taps, and long presses. With UserExperior you can combine Heatmaps with other tools like Session Replays, App Crash Analytics, and Funnel Analysis to get the best insights into your mobile app’s UX. If you’re just starting out with Heatmap mobile analytics, UserExperior offers a 14 day free trial to get you started.
As a designer, optimizing app experience for users is a top priority. A smooth interface means happy users, which means increased preferable outcomes. We hope this was helpful in setting you out for your UX Design journey. For more information read our blog on the Key benefits of Mobile App Analytics Tools